Sunday, January 22, 2017

Fire and Ice 2017

Last weekend we went to the Fire and Ice Festival at Cave Lake, near Ely. This is a fun event that we've been to many times (with blog posts from 2009, 2011 (Day 1) and 2001 (Day 2), 2013, and 2016). This year we arranged to meet friends there and go ice skating. Desert Girl was eager to put her new ice skates to use and also met a new friend who was willing to help her out. She enjoyed it a lot.

Desert Boy wasn't feeling so well, so he didn't skate long. The ice was really bumpy, so I didn't either. But a couple other kids got to use his skates, so that was good.

Jenny and Meg showed off their prowess on skates.

And although it was cloudy, it was a nice temperature to be out.

We also had sleds so that was another activity.

We also took time to look at the snow sculptures. This was an unofficial one.

There were only seven entries this year, quite a contrast from last year when there were so many fantastic ones. The lack of snow made it a little more difficult for entrants to make big sculptures this year.

This was the winning sculpture, Hi-bear-nation. They won $1000.

Second prize was Quarter Size Charcoal Ovens. They looked really good.

This was a cute entry. There was even a guy ice fishing nearby and I even saw him caught a fish, making it even more apropos.

Watching this lady carve the snow in the 22 degree temperature made us realize how challenging it can be. The snow is definitely a lot more pliable when it's right about freezing. She came in third with this bobcat.

Another event was ice bowling. This became extra fun when we used a kid on the sled as the bowling ball. It was a fun way to spend the afternoon. And now we are thinking, Should we enter next year?  If we had a big enough group, it would be a lot of fun and not so much work! What do you think?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Grey Cliffs Cross Country Ski

 The kids didn't have school on Monday, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the temperatures were in the low to mid-20s, so we headed up the Baker Creek road in Great Basin National Park to where it was closed. We pulled out the skis and headed up the road in ideal conditions.

Some snowshoers had been out, but we were the first skiers.

We headed down the incline towards Grey Cliffs campground. There was just enough of a hill to give us some glide.

We did pause to look at some of the numerous rodent tracks. We also saw deer tracks and maybe mountain lion.

Desert Boy really wanted to take a rest at the gate. He wasn't feeling so well, so he didn't continue.

But Desert Girl was ready to make some fresh tracks and broke trail for a bit.

This was about the only non-smiling photo I got of her. She was usually singing as we went skiing along. But she did ask several times when we were taking a break.

When we got up to Loop C, it was time for a break. We cleared off part of a picnic table and got out some snacks and our new JetBoil to try it out. The fuel canister was kind of empty, so we didn't get water to boil in two minutes, but we did get warm water... make hot chocolate! Yum!
After a rest, I asked Desert Girl if she wanted to go on up to Baker Creek Campground and make the loop back down the road or if she wanted to turn around here. She chose to turn around.

She was immediately delighted with her decision, as it was so easy going downhill! In fact, she couldn't believe how fast we got back to the vehicle.

We did have to stop for another sit-on-the-gate photo. Then she followed me up the hill at a good clip. She will be ready for the Ely Birkebeiner's ski race this weekend!

It was so nice to have a perfect skiing day, with no wind, great snow, and beautiful vistas. We're already looking forward to the next ski!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

First Mural in Eureka, Nevada

 Just before Christmas we made the journey to Eureka, Nevada, to visit the Eureka Restoration Enterprise's (ERE) newly restored building. They are making it into an art gallery and were selling local arts and crafts for the holidays. They had asked me to include some of my works, so I thought it was only fair if I helped for a day.

From the shop we could see the newly completed mural. ERE made money for it during an Art and Wine Walk earlier in the year.

It was done by Erik Burke and Nick D'Auria. They managed to get it done despite the cold weather.

It starts on the left with a lone pinyon pine tree.

Next is the pinyon pine cut up in pieces and being burned... the charcoal oven.

Then there's the silver ore (Eureka, as you might have guessed, is a mining town).

It's made into a silver bar.

And then the train transports it. This is specifically the E&P engine that hauled it from Eureka to Palisade.

The bricks on the building were really rough, so it was quite impressive how they made everything look so clear.

ERE also had one other mural done in town, a profile of a cowboy, but I didn't get a photo of it. However, you can check it out, plus there other efforts, on their Facebook page. I have a feeling Eureka is going to become a much more interesting and beautiful town in the upcoming years!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Christmas Eve Nativity Play

 One of our Christmas traditions when we're in town is to go to a neighboring community and attend the Christmas Eve Nativity Play. Children are the actors, and our kids have participated several years. This year we were wondering if little Lily would be willing to be one of the sheep. You can see what she thinks about that!

Desert Boy was cast as Gabriel and Desert Girl as Mary. They started the play with quite a few lines.

They both did well. They really like the costumes!

Usually the play has more younger kids, but there weren't enough in town, so some of the older kids were gracious enough to fill in.

The role of the guard is always a favorite, with "Hark ye, hark ye" as the opening words. You can hear the kids pretending they're the guard before the play and saying those words!

The play has several songs, so the kids learn the basic Christmas carols.

Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus in the stable. Mary got a little lesson on how to pick up baby Jesus so she wouldn't cause him whiplash.

The angels head out to shepherd hill to make their proclamation about the newborn King.

Then the three wise men go and visit King Herod. He is obviously thrilled with the visit. The guard thinks it's pretty cool to hang out, too. Even the angels on their heavenly cloud are amused.

The three wise men then visit the newborn King.

Angel Gabriel tells Joseph in a dream to flee to Egypt. Joseph made sure none of the gifts were left behind. It was quite cute.

The king and guard hang out at the palace until King Herod dies. These two are both kindergarteners and were so fun to watch!

Then at the end is a rousing rendition of Joy to the World. And in twenty minutes, it's a wrap!

Mary is ready to hold on to baby Jesus and do the final bow holding hands with the actors next to her. (Mom taught her that move!)

Next it was time to change out of costumes and participate in a beautiful candlelight service. I thought Desert Boy would resist going, but he said he found the service relaxing. A dessert potluck followed, so that was extra incentive to stay!
The whole evening really put us in the Christmas spirit.
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